RCS-RYC Keelboat Scholarship Regatta expands in third year
Rockland — Eleven keel boats, 28 adult sailors and 22 youth joined forces to share big boat racing thrills and help raise scholarship funds during the third annual Youth Keelboat Scholarship Regatta Aug. 15 in Rockland Harbor.
For the event, the weather was clear and 68 degrees, with southwest winds at 10-15 knots.
“That was the most amazing thing I’ve done all summer,” said RCS sailor/instructor William Foote, 18, as he and RCS student Rowan Kandma, 14, stepped off the 48-foot sailboat Altair owned by Rockland Yacht Club sailors Rick and Julie Palm.
It was a common theme expressed by many young sailors, some who were racing keelboats for the first time during the RYC and Rockland Community Sailing co-hosted event.
Even after spending all summer teaching sailing, Foote was “overwhelmed by how powerful, fast, and sleek a boat could be when pushed only by the winds.” Kandma also noted how much high tech gear and instruments a boat can have. It was quite eye-opening for a teenager who just began sailing dinghies a few days prior.
“Giving young sailors a chance to experience keel-boat racing provides a whole new perspective on what they can do with their new-found sailing skills,” said Kevin "KC" Heyniger, waterfront programs director at RCS. “The youth sailors learn tons from the adults on board and registration fees go towards RCS scholarships to keep sailing accessible to all local youth."
The collaboration between RYC, RCS, and the Gulf of Maine Ocean Racing Association (GMORA) generated $600 in scholarship this year.
Steve Ribble, GMORA secretary, posted to Facebook, “What a great event ... the weather was perfect, there were plenty of boats for the number of kids that turned out, and the kids ... the kids were terrific ... excited, motivated and involved. Hats off to the organizers and all the participants for a great time.”
Ribble crewed alongside RCS sailor Marley O’Neil, Paul Lipman and skipper Jeff Dinse on the J/80 Chaise Lounge and finished third. GMORA sponsored the youth keelboat race as part of their ongoing mission to coordinate, foster and promote yacht racing in the ocean waters of the Gulf of Maine.
This year’s regatta winner is an example of the mission in action. First-place RCS youth sailor Isabel Crane, 16, has skippered regularly aboard the Etchells 30 Elvis Tuna all summer in RYC’s Tuesday Race Series. Her first keelboat racing was during last year’s event. David Jones, Elvis Tuna’s owner and now “just crew,” said Crane is really good. Jones said he is “thrilled to see kids enjoying the race making the jump up to competing in keelboats full time – we expect more as this event grows.” Along with the Etchells, Crane is a member of the RCS high school sailing racing program.
Larry Turner, Jen Conover and nine sailors from the Camden Area Youth Sailing Program sailed Turner’s J-29 Renegade to Rockland, joined the fun, and took second place. “Years ago when I was a kid, some Camden Yacht Club boat owners took me sailing on a keelboat and it’s the reason I’m still racing sailboats today,” said Turner. He appreciated the chance to return the favor to the swarm of sailors he had on deck helping him race around the course.
Heyniger thanked organizers and participants from GMORA, Rockland Yacht Club and The Apprenticeshop, including Jesse Henry, David Jones, Dorrie Higbee, Mark Dierckes, Erica Crane, RYC Race Committee Bridget Jividen, Aaron Tremblay, Garrett Farchione, Robert LeMoine, RYC Scoring Ralph Manglass, RCS Safety Boat Drivers Head Instructors Robin Lewis and Devon Gordon, Harbormaster Ed Glaser, Maine Printing and Embroidery, RCS parents, and all keelboat owners, skippers and crews.
The individual participants were:
1. Moon Bird/Colgate 26 Mark Dierckes, Ed Zanca, Johanna Stinson. RCS Youth Sailors – Robbie Carroll, Joshua Jackomino.
2. Lyric/Olympic 5.5 Meter Kevin Carney, Chis Konecky. RCS Youth Sailors – Aidan Gordon.
3. Chaise Lounge/J-80 Jeff Dinse, Paul Lipman, Steve Ribble. RCS Youth Sailors – Marley O’Neil.
4. Gosling/Ostkust 25 John Blodgett, Stephen Gross. RCS Youth Sailor - Katie Heavey.
5. Kemosabe/Alberg 37 Jon Kuhl, George Sayre, Molly Mulhern. RCS Youth Sailors – Parker Stuart, Alden Lewis.
6. Sea Glass/Islander 32 John Alexander. RCS Youth Sailor - Louisa Crane.
7. Elvis Tuna/Etchells 30 David Jones, Guy Polyblank, Sam Chamberlin. RCS Youth Sailor – Isabel Crane.
8. Althea/Pearson 30 Tom Higbee, Ralph Manglass, Dave Devore. RCS Youth Sailors – Keanu Campbell.
9. Altair/Saga 48 Rick and Julie Palm, Erica Crane. RCS Youth Sailors – Rowan Kandma, Will Foote.
10. Renegade/J-29 Larry Turner, Jen Conover. Camden Area Youth Sailing Program youth - Elli and Cedar Andrus, Warren, Peter, and Jillian Galloway, Carly and Savannah Berry, Samantha Zwecker, Aidan Manahan.
11. Dauntless/Knutsen 35 Dick Rapalyea, David Leon, Jim Foley. RCS Youth Sailors – Tristan Lewis.
The individual results, with overall, race 1, 2 and 3 listed, were:
1, Elvis Tuna/Etchells 30 3 2 1; 2, Renegade/J-29 2 3 2; 3, Chaise Lounge/J-80 6 1 3; 4, Dauntless/Knutsen 35 1 4 7; 5, Althea/Pearson 30 4 6 6; 6, Gosling/Ostkust 25 11 5 4; 7, Kemosabe/Alberg 37 5 8 8; 8, Lyric/Olympic 5.5 Meter 10 7 5; 9, Altair/Saga 48 8 9 9; 10, Moonbird/Colgate 26 7 10 10; and 11, Sea Glass/Islander 32 9 11 11.